On March 15, 44 B.C.E., Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in Rome, Italy. Caesar was the dictator of the Roman Republic, and his assassins were Roman senators, fellow politicians who helped shape Roman policy and government.

Julius Caesar was immensely popular with the people of Rome. He was a successful military leader who expanded the republic to include parts of what are now Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. Caesar was also a popular author who wrote about his travels, theories, and political views.

Many members of the Senate, a group of appointed (not elected) political leaders, resented Caesar’s popularity and arrogance. After Caesar attained the status of dictator for life in 44 B.C.E., these officials decided to strike the ultimate blow against his power. A group of as many as 60 conspirators decided to assassinate Caesar at the meeting of the Senate on March 15, the ides of March. Collectively, the group stabbed Caesar a reported 23 times, killing the Roman leader.

The death of Julius Caesar ultimately had the opposite impact of what his assassins hoped. Much of the Roman public hated the senators for the assassination, and a series of civil wars ensued. In the end, Caesar’s grandnephew and adoptive son Octavian emerged as Rome’s leader. He renamed himself Augustus Caesar. The reign of Augustus marked the end of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire.

appoint
Verb

to assign to a position.

appointed
Verb

to have assigned to a position.

assassin
Noun

a murderer, especially one who kills a political leader.

civil war
Noun

conflict between groups in the same country or nation.

dictator
Noun

person with complete control of a government.

emerge
Verb

to develop or come into view.

empire
Noun

group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

ensue
Verb

to follow or come after.

government
Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

immense
Adjective

very large.

Julius Caesar
Noun

(100 BCE-44 BCE) leader of ancient Rome.

Noun

armed forces.

policy
Noun

set of actions or rules.

politician
Noun

person who serves as a representative of the citizens of a geographic area to the local, state, or national government.

public
Noun

people of a community.

republic
Noun

system of government where power rests in citizens who vote and representatives who stand for those citizens. The United States is a republic.

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